Duterte to withdraw Philippines from ICC after…

Duterte to withdraw Philippines from ICC after…

It said the withdrawal from the Rome Statue was due to the "baseless, unprecedented and outrageous attacks on my person as well as against my administration" by United Nations officials, and what he said was an attempt by the ICC prosecutor to seek jurisdiction over him "in violation of due process and presumption of innocence".

In a 15-page statement, President Duterte declared that the Philippines will withdraw from the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed that Mr Duterte has instructed Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to issue the notice.

"There appears to be a concerted effort on the part of the United Nations special rapporteurs to paint me as a ruthless and heartless violator of human rights who allegedly caused thousands of extrajudicial killings", Duterte said.

Just last month, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed a preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court.

The letter said that while the country withdrew from the worldwide tribunal, it would continue to be guided by the Constitution, which enshrines the country's "long-standing tradition" of upholding human rights.

This as the ICC announced that it would begin its "preliminary examination" into the communication filed by Jude Sabio, lawyer of confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, who accused Duterte, senior government officials, and several police officers of committing crimes against humanity in his controversial war on drugs, citing alleged extrajudicial slays.

Roque argued that the Rome Statute that set up the ICC has "no universal ratification", explaining that only 124 out of 168 countries signed the Rome Statute that set up the ICC.

Mr Duterte's chief legal counsel, Mr Salvador Panelo, said the president was "definitely not afraid" of an investigation from The Hague court.

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In contrast with the contention of the Office of the President, Centerlaw contended that there is no further requirement of publication in any newspaper of general circulation "to make the treaty binding upon the Philippines".

Activist priest Robert Reyes said the president's decision is "clearly an act of open defiance not only against the ICC but what it represents".

Human rights and jurist groups condemned him for what they saw as an attempt to evade justice and accountability, and said a withdrawal was pointless, because jurisdiction applied retroactively, for the period of membership.

"Duterte should be investigated", said the prelate.

"The government affirms its commitment to fight against impunity for atrocity crimes, notwithstanding its withdrawal from the Rome Statute, especially since the Philippines has a national legislation punishing atrocity crimes", the letter said.

In a January report, Human Rights Watch said Duterte's "war on drugs" has led to the deaths of over 12,000 Filipinos, mostly urban poor.

The administration has many times denied hand in supposed summary killings. He dared the ICC to indict him.

"Violation of human rights will aggravate".

Lagman expressed fear that the global community will lose trust in the Philippines "because a country which does not honor its commitments does not deserve the trust of other states".

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